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DIY Workout Part II

Updated: Mar 13, 2022

In the post DIY Workout Part I, we discussed the FITT principle and its benefits. In Part II we are going to apply the principle by working through an example. Here's the scenario:

You only have 30 minutes to work out so you want to be as efficient as possible. You decide to do a full-body workout that incorporates strength and cardio. You decide to do a circuit in a HIIT (High intensity interval training) format. Before we get started, let's answer the questions introduced in Part I:

How often do I want to exercise? (frequency)

How hard do I want to work? (intensity)

How long do I want to exercise? (time)

What exercises do I want to do? (type)

Frequency - For your workout, you've decided that you want to have seven exercises in your circuit and you want to run through your circuit 4 times. Note: If you're creating a workout plan, the frequency may look like working out 3-4 times/day. A good way to hold yourself accountable is to write down the days you intend to get your sweat on.

Intensity - The fact that we are doing a HIIT helps answer the question, "how hard do I want to work." You will want to work as hard as you can during the amount of time you've assigned yourself for the exercise (see the Time section below). I like using the perceived exertion scale as a guide. If 10 is the hardest you can work and 1 is the easiest (at rest) perhaps you want to get to a place where you are slightly breathless and sweating, which is around 6 or 7. HIIT workouts are meant to be challenging but many people find it difficult to work consistently at a high intensity. The idea here is to challenge yourself. Use this perceived exertion scale by Verywellfit to help gauge your intensity.

Time - Keeping in mind that we are using the concept of HIIT, there are many time combinations you can use. I've found that playing with the intervals also impacts the intensity you want to achieve. For example:

40 seconds on, 20 seconds off

30 seconds on, 10 seconds off

60 seconds on, 30 seconds off

Work as hard as you can during your assigned work period and practice active recovery during your rest period. For example, shuffling in one place or a light march. If you're not doing a HIIT, time for a cardio session may look like 20-30 minutes, while a strength training session, depending on what you're doing, may take one hour.

Type - this is where we get to the fun stuff. Here is where you choose the exercises you want to do. In Part I, I encouraged you to think about where you will be doing your workout as this may impact the type of equipment you have available to you. Since you're doing a full-body workout, choose lower and upper body exercises. You can choose to do multi-joint exercises (a.k.a combination exercises), which will make your workout more intense. You can also choose to use just weights or a combination of weight-bearing and bodyweight exercises. For example:

  1. Chest press w/weights (weight-bearing)

  2. Squat to alternating front kick (bodyweight)

  3. Deadlift to a row (weight-bearing)

  4. Pop squats (bodyweight)

  5. Bicep curls into a military press (weight-bearing)

  6. Tricep extensions into an abdominal crunch (weight-bearing)

  7. High knees (bodyweight)

The workout above will challenge all of your muscle groups as well as provide strength and cardio training. After this workout, you will be ready to crush your day.

This was one example of using the FITT principle, you can use the principle for different goals (eg running a marathon), and change aspects of the FITT principle to keep things exciting and to reduce the chance of plateauing.

I hope you found this post helpful, send me a comment. I'd love to hear how I can support you in creating a DIY workout.


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